Police in Spain made the mayor of a small town take down a Pride flag because it was “illegal” – but locals were having none of it.
Juan Civico, mayor of the Andalusian village of Villanueva de Algaidas near Malaga, thought erecting a Pride flag at the council building would be a kind gesture to the local LGBT+ community.
But that simple act, Civico later discovered, was actually illegal – the Supreme Court recently ruled that government buildings must only fly official flags of Spain, its regions or of the European Union, according to the Jakarta Post.
Three local residents seized on that law and complained to authorities – and, under the law, police told Civico he would have to pull the flag down.
A shop owner handed out 400 Pride flags to residents of the town in Spain.
“After the complaints, we studied what we had to do,” Civico said.
“We saw that under the law we had to remove the flag. But the people can put what they like on their balconies.”
When Antonio Carlos Alcántara heard about what had happened, he decided to help.
We saw that under the law we had to remove the flag. But the people can put what they like on their balconies.
Alcántara runs a shop around 60 kilometres from the town, and one of the things he stocks is Pride flags.
But due to the coronavirus, he hasn’t been selling many lately – so he decided to post on the council’s Facebook page asking if anyone would like a flag.
The village is covered in rainbow colours, despite complaints from three residents.
He quickly amassed more than 100 requests from villagers, so he decided to drive over and hand them out.
In total, he has handed 400 Pride flags to local residents, and the village is now awash with the Pride colours hanging from windows and balconies.
The city council expressed their sadness at being ordered to take the flag down in a Facebook post last week.
They said the flag was intended to show that their village is an “open, diverse, plural, inclusive” place – but said the gesture had lasted “a short time”.
However, they said the council will always stand for tolerance, equality and respect for LGBT+ people – even if they’re not allowed to fly the Pride flag.